Councillor for Bishopton, Bridge of Weir and Langbank Natalie Don is calling for increased support for those working in our food stores and depots like higher wages.

The Coronavirus pandemic has seen a drastic change in how we all live our lives. It has brought to light just how valuable our NHS workers are along with other key roles that cannot be performed at home such as that being performed by supermarket workers.

Major food retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Aldi are increasing wages by 10% for staff, Morrisons are tripling employees annual bonus and Asda are offering staff a full week of wages. This is all as a goodwill gesture for being exposed to Coronavirus in stores across Renfrewshire.

Renfrewshire employs 1000’s of supermarket workers with all the major retailers having stores in our towns and villages. All of these workers will be more at risk of contracting covid – 19 compared to those working from home. The Coronavirus has seen supermarkets have to take drastic measures to allow social distancing for shoppers.

Councillor Don, said: “The global pandemic has enlightened us that roles such as supermarket workers, cleaners and factory workers are absolutely essential to keep our country going. A quick rethink of social attitudes towards low paid key workers is necessary at this time.

Photo: Councillor Natalie Don

“It is welcome that supermarkets are offering staff an array of bonuses for putting themselves at risk. It does ponder the question however, why low paid staff working for these multi million pound store chains are not already getting better wages and incentives for the work they do.

“I don’t actually think the bonuses being offered by supermarkets is enough at this time. How can we justify the wages of sports stars while supermarket workers on minimum wage are becoming seriously ill or even dying. You cannot put a price on life but it is surely more than what supermarket workers are being paid.

“As a former supermarket worker myself for 10 years I know how stressful it can be at times and how hard it can be to make ends meet financially. You all have my sincerest gratitude for the essential work you are doing for us all at the moment, you are heroes.”

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News